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The Ecological Management Foundation (EMF) is dedicated to tackling the world's growing water scarcity problem and to providing the poor in developing countries with clean water and sanitation facilities. EMF identifies, promotes and pioneers small-scale projects that are innovative, practical, solution-oriented, and will have a broad impact in the target country. In particular EMF explores the possibilities of new desalination techniques. Much of EMF's work is in partnership with organisations around the world dedicated to the same cause.

Main activities

EMF' s activities concentrate on three areas: desalination technologies, global water scarcity, and cooperation with international partner organisations.

Desalination technologies

EMF initiates and promotes small-scale, ecologically and economically sound desalination technologies.  EMF is convinced that by 2020 desalination installations will increasingly deliver high quality water from brackish and sea water at a cost price comparable with or lower than that conventionally produced from ground and surface water. Read about EMF's desalination activities.  

Combatting water scarcity

EMF fights world water scarcity by initiating and fostering appropriate technical, commercial, financial and social innovations in developed and developing countries.  EMF currently heads a groundbreaking project  in Bangladesh that is set to provide safe drinking water for 24 million inhabitants of areas affected by serious arsenic contamination and salinity problems.

International partnerships

EMF works closely together with many international partner organizations dedicated to improving global access to clean water and sanitation. One example is EMF's collaboration since 2010 with the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) in its Water Schools Program. Its mission is to promote sustainable clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene in faith-related schools.This will lead to a reduction in water-related school absenteeism and, in the long run, to a community-wide reduction in water-borne disease.


EMF started making documentaries in 1999 as a supporting activity, to raise public awareness to the issues it addressed. Since then EMF has continued to explore and initiate documentaries in the field of water, poverty and microfinance, in cooperation with professional filmmakers. EMF's documentaries include The Blue Gold, a 6-part series on waterthat was broadcast on Dutch television in 2009.

Sanitation 2.0 re-using pee and poo
Rising to the challenge of water scarcity
Working on water together
Opening up the oceans with desalination
When water hits your bottom line


Investment Funds for Water and Sanitation: Y/N?

Social impact investing is on the rim to become main streamed, this will take another 3-5 years, but the trend is clear: more and more high net worth individuals prefer to invest instead of donate, taking a more business wise approach. Investing in Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) is a clear example impact investing pays off, from a financial point of view. However the social and environmental impact of commercial operating MFIs' is not a given fact of their business. Most of these institutes realize they have to improve, so why don't MFIs' invest in water and sanitation?

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